As announced previously, USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the U.S., in conjunction with participating national member organizations (NMOs) has adopted a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats. Informed by the research of leading scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee, and supported by its NMOs, -- including the American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball -- USA Baseball has concluded that recent advancements in science, engineering, technology, and the materials available to fabricate non-wood bats, now allow the manufacturers to construct youth bats that can perform at a wood-like level through the entire range of lengths and weights of youth bats.
Similar to the NCAA and NFHS BBCOR standard, which helped to eliminate discrepancies with different length bats and thus provide a more direct measure of bat performance, the new USA Baseball bat standard will allow youth baseball organizations in the United States to reach their goal of establishing a wood-like standard, a standard that will provide for the long-term integrity of the game.
The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which will apply to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, will be implemented on January 1, 2018. New USA Baseball approved bats were made available for purchase on September 1, 2017. To view an approved bat list, please visit https://usabat.com.
- Starting January 1, 2018, USA Baseball is instituting a new bat standard which will be approved for play in AABC Baseball, Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball & Dixie Boys Baseball, Little League Baseball® (add divisions except Senior League) and PONY Baseball.
- Barrels up to 2 5/8" are now approved for ages 14 and under.
- Players will need a new bat stamped with the new USA Baseball Mark.
These guidelines are good to follow, but you should always check with your local league to confirm which bat rules they will be following.